Making Your Own Lamps

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If you are having a hard time finding the right lamp to complement your decor or you just want to add a personal touch to your room, you may want to make your own. You don't need to be an electrician to make a custom lamp; all you need are a few basic supplies and some creativity.

Supplies

  • You can get most of the supplies you need to make your own lamp at a home improvement store. You need a lamp base, a cord with a plug, a light bulb socket, a lamp shade and harp, pliers, hot glue gun, drill and wire cutters. To simplify things, just buy a lamp kit, which consists of the cord, plug and light bulb socket. Light bulb sockets come in several different styles, so choose one you can attach to your lamp easily. You also may need a cork or wooden stopper if the mouth of your lamp base is too large to hold the light bulb socket.

Lamp Base

  • Your options are endless when it comes to choosing a base for your lamp. Some of the things you can use are baskets, books, jars, ceramic pots, candle sticks, wooden shapes and tree branches. Stack objects or group them together to make interesting designs. Make sure the objects are securely attached to each other so your lamp base does not fall apart. If necessary, you can attach the objects to a wide, flat base so your lamp won't tip over.

Lamp Shade

  • Purchase a lamp shade or make your own to complement your homemade lamp. Start with a plain white lamp shade. Add coordinating embellishments such as fabric, beads and ribbon. You can also paint, decoupage paper cutouts or glue things like small branches or bamboo onto the shade. Use fabric glue, hot glue or other strong adhesive to attach your shade decorations. Use a hot glue gun, not a low-temperature gun, or the glue may melt when it is exposed to heat from the light bulb.

Making the Lamp

  • If your lamp base is not hollow, drill a hole through the center from top to bottom. You also must drill a hole through the side or carve a groove in the bottom so the cord will not make your lamp unstable. Run the cord up through the bottom hole and out the top. Strip the sheathing off the end of the wires and attach them securely to the screws on the light bulb socket. Glue, screw or clamp the light bulb socket to the top of your lamp base, using the cork or wooden stopper if necessary. Attach the harp to the light bulb socket and add the lamp shade to finish your lamp.

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